6550 vs. KT88: What's different about the sound?

I have a Music Reference RM9...great amp. I used EL34's for several years...nice match for the slightly agressive ribbons in the Newform (best imaging I've ever heard) Now that I have the Maggie 1.6 QR, the 6550 (Svetlana) sounds better... but will the KT88 better define the high end without being aggressive and better control the bass without being anemic? KT88's are much more expensive than 6550's so before I lay out an extea 300 $, or so, I'd like to know what to expect. Any help out there?? Better to get me at gymrome@aol.com. ( use "Tube question" as the subject so I know it's not spam )
I have limited experience with the Svetlana KT-88 and Svetlana 6550 C. The immediate differences that I noticed were the following: The KT 88's were more refined sounding. They resoved inner detail better and presented music in a smooth textured manner. It has a bit more sparkle on the top end than the 6550C. The 6550 seems to be a bit more dynamic not as rich in tone, but seem to have better heft and low end definition. Both are great tubes and it really comes down to personal taste.

Hope this helps,

1st, go to the tube asylum... http://www.audioasylum.com/scripts/tv.pl?forum=tubes&s=U ...and SEARCH there; you'll find a lot. If you decide on '88s, I recommend the Penta/Shuguang KT88SC. They're only $29 each and sound quite nice. I changed from the original Shuguangs in my ASL 'Canes so didn't notice a difference in sound, but these's a lot of info about them on the Asylum.
Jeffrey, where do you purchase the Penta/Shuguang KT88SC? Do you prefer them to the EH?
At $29 each or $65 per matched pair, The matching fee of $7 per pair is now reasonable. I recall a few months ago Penta was charging an UNreasonable matching fee, something like $20/tube IIRC.

Warrantee is 6 months, BTW.
Jrome, I use SED (the original Svetlana not the new ones made by Sovtek?) KT88's and 6550C's in several different amps. Each tube type sounds better in the amps that were designed for them in the first place.

When I put the KT88 in an amp that was designed for a 6550 the sound is bloated/warm thru the mid bass/lower mids, rolled in the highs, and looses some clarity. It can sound lovely if you are not too uptight, or the sound better matches your other components, including the small tubes in the amp. Whereas the 6550C is more tonally correct - tight bass, transparent mid's, etc.

When I put a 6550C into an amp designed for a KT 88 it starts to sound like a SS amp. Bright, flat, very cool thru the mids and upper bass. To counter this I find I must use a small tubes noted for warmth.

As a matter of personal choice, and a general observation, I find I enjoy the sound of an amp designed around the KT88 more than the 6550.

Now comes the fun - whichever one you decide to go with, I'll bet you end up playing with the small tubes. Thats where much of the real magic is, matching the power tubes and the small tubes.
Penta Labs/Shuguang KT88SC Matched Pair.
Thanks Grant. Shows what a tube lightweight I am, I thought Penta was part of the brand.
I used to have the Svetlana 6550c and upgraded to EH KT-88.But have 2 6sn7(sylvania)for the input in the amp..If i will match the input tubes to the output tubes (EH 6sn7 gold),which will now be the same brand.As you mentioned by matching the power tubes and the small tubes,do you think there will be an improvement ?
Pescolar, What I meant by matching had little to do with brand matching. I was referring to matching the sonic's of each type to produce an end result which you find pleasing. It may be fortune or just some of my prejudices, but I have no amps where the small tubes are the same brand as the output tubes. Finding the perfect sonic match is the 'fun' to which I was referring.
i got too excited!